Parasites in the protected areas of the Tatra Mountains, Slovakia
Zuzanna Hurníková , Martina Miterpáková , Barbara Chovancová , Grzegorz Zaleśny , Marcin Popiołek
AbstractThe northern part of Slovakia represents the main tourist and recreational area of the country. After the windstorm in 2004 that caused losses or changeovers of prime biotopes, the migration of existing wildlife is expected, as is the immigration of replacements, followed by growth of carnivorous predator populations. which represents a risk of spreading parasitic infections. The aim of our work was to study the parasite circulation in ecosystems that undergo dynamic changeovers. The distribution of zoonotic agents in carnivore hosts was analysed, emphasizing the most important ones – echinococcosis and trichinellosis. The small intestines of carnivores were examined for the presence of E. multilocularis using a modified sedimentation and counting technique (Raoul et al., 2001). Muscle samples were examined for the presence of Trichinella spp. larvae by the artificial HCl-pepsin digestion method (Kapel and Gamble, 2000). Fecal samples were investigated using the coprological flotation method. The presented research work reveals the presence of the Echinococcus multilocularis tapeworm, which causes severe alveolar echinococcosis in humans, in almost 40% of foxes from TANAP and adjacent areas. The parasite was also present in domestic cats, raccoon dogs and martens. Trichinellosis was harboured in over 19% of foxes, and was also detected in wolves, brown bears, lynxes, domestic cats and also in large proportion of predators from the family Mustelidae (19.4%). In 2012, a pilot study was initiated on the parasite fauna of the endemic sub-species alpine marmot (Marmota marmota latirostris). An examination of 30 fecal samples revealed the presence of Eimeria spp. oocysts (16.7%) and eggs of the Ctenotaenia marmotae tapeworm (53.3%). A long-term examination of carnivores from the protected areas of TANAP revealed that these wild predators play a significant role in environmental contamination with parasites and may contribute significantly to the spread of parasitic zoonoses. They might also play important roles in the structuring of parasite communities that provide opportunities for increased exposure of humans to parasitic infection.
|Journal series||Annals of Parasitology, ISSN 2299-0631, e-ISSN 2300-6706, (B 15 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.3|
|Conference||XXIIIth Congress of the Polish Parasitological Society, 04-09-2013 - 07-09-2013, Szklarska Poręba-Piechowice, Polska|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.